I refer to my end of year time off as annual recharge because it’s just that for me. I thought it could be nice to share what for me this process looks like after having just done it again. It does adapt each year but this is the current format for me.
Everyone recharges differently
A recharge for me comes with a process I do every end of the year: clear, prioritise and schedule. I think it’s important to note that not everyone is the same. My ‘turning off’ is doing this process, by doing it I also cope much better with the cognitive load of work. I don’t expect everyone though to find this as soothing as I do.
- All subscriptions: this year it saw me cancel Dropbox. I was only really using it for photos so wasn’t worth keeping as moved those to Google Photos and hard drive.
- Archive the past year: Evernote, Simplenote, Toby, Todoist, Instapaper (clear all of that down).
- Go through everything own and clear out what I don’t want anymore (or haven’t used for over 6 months). I do this part of the process regularly every season as try and limit items I own.
- Digitise any paper have. I use Evernote to scan.
- Go through clothes.
- The clearing out often ends up in going to a donation centre specifically with clothes.
- Trade-in any products or games don’t use anymore. This year saw me trading in an old Kindle, external hard drives, numerous USB sticks (fairly sure they are breeding) and 2 games.
- Remove apps don’t use across all devices.
- Set up new wallpaper: something cathartic about this and for the first month I set to the theme for the year.
- Clear down any old tasks into categories.
- Remove Spotify playlists don’t use and clear out starred/likes. I have a folder of ‘starred’ and move everything out from there into playlists.
- Inbox properly zero.
- Audit all domains have. This was a new addition to my process this year.
- Clear down any draft posts.
- Check my goals from last year and see if I met them. I do regularly check these along the way but I do one last ‘thanking’ of them as a closeout.
As I clear reflection often happens, which leads me into the next phase.
- Set a theme of the year. I do this every year and this one is balance. I’ve done a lot of stretching myself last year and now it’s time to bring back the balance both in what I do and how I spend my time.
- Define what I want to accomplish this year. I set goals for myself. I have the following format:
- 6 things I want to stop and 6 to start.
- 6 things I want to learn and 6 to make a habit.
- Order all tasks into priorities.
- Setup a new journal: I use GoodNotes for this.
- Organise all device screens, consider the order of them.
- Outline schedule for the day: I use a calendar just for schedule and set up a personal one apart from one for work.
- Set up any dates I know for the year ahead: for example travel or holidays.
- Set up timers for getting up and sleep time.
- Set new affirmations and checkins in Aloe Bud.
- Set up a new playlist for the first month, this is usually from starred tracks to boost me into things I forgot I liked.
Form habits when on holiday
Start habits while on break: a key to keeping them if enter the year with the set. A couple of new ones I set up this year:
- Reading in the morning: for 10 minutes before getting into work.
- Putting my laptop in the office after 8 pm, so I have to work on an iPad. I can do a lot via iPad so this is more about shifting brain than limiting work I can do.
- Writing for at least 15 minutes a day.
I realise as said at the start this is quite a process, it is something I do gradually over the two weeks I take off, but it helps me enter the new year mentally clear and supported by having closed out the past one.